John W. (John Woolf) Jordan.

Genealogical and personal history of western Pennsylvania; (Volume 1) online

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ington McClintock, in 1850, actuated by a similar spirit of commercial enter-
prise, shipped a stock of carpets to the young and booming town of Cin-
cinnati, in charge of J. L. Ringwalt, who later purchased the stock and
carried on the business for himself. George F. Otte, a young German clerk
in that branch store, became in after years the head of the leading carpet
and house furnishing store in Cincinnati. In common with other Pittsburgh
merchants of that period, whose capital aided in the development of the
west, Washington McClintock also became interested in several river steam-
boats employed in the transportation business on the western and south-
western rivers.

But, returning to Samuel Thompson's career, about 1830 he conducted
a general store at the northwest comer of Market and Fourth street (now
Fourth avenue). Later he bought from Henry Holdship the property on
Market street, near Liberty, on which the McClintock building now stands,
and moving into it, he conducted there an exclusive business in dry-goods
and carpets.

In 1837 Samuel Thompson was succeeded by the firm of W. McClintock
& Company, his son-in-law, Washington McClintock, and his son, Robert D.
Thompson, being partners. Their store was on Market street, two doors
from Fifth street (now Fifth avenue), but the firm was dissolved in 1844.
Washington McClintock then carried on an exclusive carpet business in
Edward Rahm's building on the north side of Fourth avenue, near Wood
street, upon the site now occupied by the Safe Deposit Company's building.
He was burned out in the great fire of 1845. In 1853 he moved his business
to the Samuel Thompson property on Market street, near Liberty, having
purchased it from his father-in-law's estate. In 1854 he admitted his
brothers, Alexander and George Ledlie McClintock, taking the firm name of
McClintock Brothers, a partnership which continued one year. In 1855 the
style again became W. McClintock and remained so for seven years. In
1862 he admitted his eldest son, Oliver McClintock, to the partnership, the
style of the firm becoming W. McClintock & Son. In 1863 Washington
McClintock bought out Robinson & Company, their chief competitor in the
carpet business, and organized the firm of Oliver McClintock & Company
(consisting of Washington McClintock, Oliver McClintock and George R.,
Senior), to conduct the newly acquired business as a separate firm. Both
stores were continued separately for about a year, but under the same man-
agement. In 1864 the firm of W. McClintock & Son was merged into that
of the Oliver McClintock Company, and the business continued at number
219 Fifth avenue. Walter L. McClintock, second son of Washington Mc-
Clintock, was admitted in 1864. In the year 1869, Washington McClintock
retired from business because of failing health, which culminated in his
death, on July 28th. 1870, at the age of fifty-six years. Washington Mc-
Clintock's fourth son, Thompson McClintock, was admitted to the firm in


1874, and in 1884 Frank Thompson McClintock, the fifth son of tlic founder,
was admitted upon the retirement of George R., Senior. On January 15th,
1897, the firm of Oliver McCHntock & Company was dissolved, and a new
company was incorporated under the present title, the Oliver McClintock
Company, with Oliver McClintock, president; Walter L. McClintock, treas-
urer ; and Frank T. McClintock, secretary. As has been shown by the suc-
cession of partnership interests, it is no doubt the oldest mercantile firm in
Pittsburgh, the succession having continued in an unbroken line from the
maternal grandfather, Samuel Thompson, who began in 1807.

Owing to the death of Walter L. McClintock, March 3rd, 191 1, and
the expiration of the lease and sale of the property occupied by the Oliver
McClintock Company, it was decided to dissolve the company and retire
from business at the end of the year 1913, completing more than a century
of mercantile life by the members of one family. A new firm, the Mc-
Clintock-McElveen-Baker Company, which will largely include the organiza-
tions of the Oliver McClintock Company, the McElveen Furniture Company
and the Baker Office Furniture Company, has been organized to occupy the
present premises of the McElveen Furniture Company at Nos. 525 to 529
Penn avenue, in 1914.

Oliver McClintock received his early education in the academies con-
ducted by Rev. Joseph T. Travelli in Sewickley, and Professor Lewis T.
Bradley, in Allegheny (now Northside. Pittsburgh), graduating from Yale
College in 1861. He entered his father's business the following year and
has continued in the business of carpets, rugs and interior decorations ever
since, — a period of over half a century.

Mr. McClintock married, June 7, 1886, Clara C, daughter of Harvey
and Jane D. (Lowrie) Childs. Their children are: Norman and Walter
McClintock, connected with the Oliver McClintock Company; Mrs. Thomas
Darling, of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania ; Harvey C. McClintock, Mrs. Frank
D. Nicol, of Detroit, Michigan, and Miss Jeannette McClintock.

Although devoting himself closely to his business, Mr. McClintock has
also given much attention and important service in behalf of the municipal,
religious, and educational interests of his native city. At the time of the
reorganization of the Young Men's Christian Association of Pittsburgh in
1866, Mr. McClintock was elected president, continuing until 1868. He was
elected elder in the Second Presbyterian Church of Pittsburgh in 1863; a
trustee of the Western Theological Seminary in 1867; a trustee of the Penn-
sylvania College for Women in 1872, and its president in 1905. He and his
brother-in-law, A. H. Childs, were founders of the Shadyside Academy of
Pittsburgh in 1883. He is a director of the Pittsburgh Chamber of Com-
merce, a member of the Duquesne Club of Pittsburgh, also of the University
Clubs of Pittsburgh and New York City. He is a member of the National
Municipal League, of the Civil Service Reform Association of Pennsylvania
and the Ballot Reform Association of Pennsylvania.

Mr. McClintock was one of the leaders in organizing tlie Citizens'
Municipal League of Pittsburgh in 1895-96, and a member of the executive
committee of five, authorized to select candidates for the ensuing municipal


election for the three executive city officers, and to conduct a campaign in
their behalf. The contest that followed was remarkable for its aggressive-
ness and heat, and for the good work done in awakening and educating
public sentiment to realize that city government should be conducted on
business principles only, divorced from the corrupt and ruinous partisanship
of national parties. So effective was the work done by McClintock in this
campaign, that it called forth many tributes, among these the following by
Lincoln Steffens in "McClure's Magazine," May, 1903 :

If there is one man in Pittsburgh who deserves credit for the successful results
of reform in municipal politics, it is Oliver McClintock, for many years one of the
most aggressive foes of the political machine. It was on the foundation laid by Mr.
McClintock and his associates, in 1895-96, that the Citizens' Party gained an over-
whelming victory in the municipal election of 1898, and it was only after the party
leaders of 1898 had repudiated the principles, which he advocated and for which he
fought, that he left that party to keep on in his persistent fight for purification of
city politics. Victories have not always been with Mr. McClintock, but it was his
indomitable persistence — despite defeats, that won for him the admiration of even
those whom he fought.

Oliver McClintock belongs to that class of men who wield a power which
is all the more potent from the fact that it is moral rather than political, and
is exercised for the public weal rather than for personal or partisan ends.
Unselfish and retiring, he prefers a quiet place in the background to the
glamor of publicity, biit his rare aptitude and ability in achieving results
make him constantly sought and often bring him into prominence from which
he would naturally shrink were less desirable ends in view.

Pittsburgh, the city which seems like a Rodin statue because
SEAMAN it is the unformed figure of achievement incarnate, is a beacon

of industrial progress. The reason of this is not far to
seek. It is found in the fact that her chief citizens are men who work with
far-sighted sagacity, who discern not only present accomplishment, but also
future results — men of the type of Joseph S. Seaman, president of Seaman-
Sleeth Company, for a number of years a power in the business circles
of Pittsburgh, and closely and prominently identified with all her best in-
terests. Mr. Seaman is a descendant of an honored family of Germany,
who have been domiciled in this coimtry for a number of generations.

Johan Ludwig Seaman, the progenitor of this family in America, was
a member of the body-guard of Frederick the Great, of Prussia. On account
of his religious convictions, which were not viewed with favor in his native
country, he sailed for the New World, arriving at Philadelphia, Pennsyl-
vania, October 25, 1748. In "Rupp's Thirty Thousand Names," which gives
an account of the names and dates of landing of the early immigrants, we
find it stated that "October 25, 1748, there arrived in Philadelphia the ship
'Paliena and Margaret,' with John Go van as captain, from Rotterdam, last
from Leith," and that among the passengers were Henry Seeman and John
I-udwig Seeman. Later the name was spelled Seaman, as it is at the present
time. "It is possible," says Rupp's, "that the signature in the ship's record
was made by a clerk and not correctly spelled." However, it evidently re-


ferred to one and the same person, and that was the ancestor mentioned
above. He married after his arrival in this country, and settled in Berks
county, Pennsylvania.

John Seaman, son of Johan Ludwig Seaman, was with Washington at
Valley Forge.

John Seaman, son of John Seaman, was born in Berks county, Penn-
sylvania, and later removed to Harmony, in the same State, with the society
known as "Harmonites." He married Katherine Allwine, also of Berks
county, and they had three daughters and five sons.

Elias Seaman, third child of John and Katherine (Allwine) Seaman,
was born in Berks county, Pennsylvania, in 181 1. He was a young child
when he came to Harmony with his parents and there grew to manhood.
He was apprenticed to learn the harness and saddlery trade and followed
this occupation throughout his life. He married Margaret Charlotte Goehr-
ing, born near Harmony, Butler county, Pennsylvania, and they were the
parents of the following children : William Henry ; Elias Jefferson ; Joseph
Sidney, see forward; Edwin M., deceased; Elias Francis.

Joseph Sidney Seaman, third son and child of Elias and Margaret
Charlotte (Goehring) Seaman, was born April 14, 1839, in Harmony, Butler
county, Pennsylvania, where he received his education. Upon the conclusion
of his studies he came to Pittsburgh and here learned the trade of roll
turner. He. commenced at the bottom of the ladder, a position he did not
long retain, as his energy and application soon enabled him to rise from
the ranks and make his way to the front. He held the position of foreman
for a time and then became superintendent of the iron mills, continuing in
this office until 1864, when he became identified with the firm of Bollman
& Bagley, of which he was virtually the organizer. The firm name under<-
went various changes, being known successively as : Bagley, Young & Com-
pany, James B. Young & Company, and later as Seaman, Sleeth & Black.
It was incorporated and styled the Seaman-Sleeth Company in 1895, Mr.
Seaman being the president and general manager and R. L. Sleeth vice-
president. These two gentleman are the sole proprietors of the property.

It should be said, in enumerating the causes of Mr. Seaman's success,
that he combines with an exceptional degree of ability, personal qualities
that insure him the respect of all with whom he comes in contact, especially
that of his employees, who have always shown a devotion to his interests
rarely accorded to the employer.

In addition to holding the office of president of the above concern, Mr.
Seaman is president of the Pennsylvania National Bank and the Pennsyl-
vania Savings Bank, and a director in the Superior Steel Company, which
he organized in 1891. He has been a member and an officer in the First
Lutheran church for almost half a century. In all his enterprises Mr. Sea-
man has proved himself to be a man born to his task, alert and watchful,
deciding quickly and grasping situations almost intuitively. He possesses,
also, the rare faculty of controlling large bodies of men and of inspiring them
with his own enthusiasm. Men of this type are what the business world
needs, and were thev more numerous, we should soon cease to hear of the


conflict between capital and labor. It is not, however, only as the head of
a great industry that Mr. Seaman is of value to Pittsburgh, but also as a
public-spirited citizen of liberal views, correct in judgment and disinter-
ested in policy. In politics he is a Republican. Unostentatiously charitable,
no good work done in the name of philanthropy or religion seeks his co-
operation in vain.

He married, March 23, 1863, Hannah Alice Slater, born in Pittsburgh,
daughter of William and Ruth (Simons) Slater, and they have had children:
Charles B. ; Alice Grace, wife of James H. Hammond, of Carnegie, Penn-
sylvania ; Joseph Sidney, Jr. Mrs. Seaman is a woman of much sweetness
and beauty of character, and has been to her husband an ideal helpmate in
his aspirations and ambitions.

Mr. Seaman belongs to that group of Pittsburgh business men to whom
the city owes, in large measure, her prosperity of the last quarter of a
century and the commanding position which she holds in the commercial
and manufacturing world at the present day. But Pittsburgh is indebted
to her business men for much more than present prosperity. In the years
to come the metropolis of Pennsylvania will be, to a great degree, what men
of the type of Joseph S. Seaman have made her. In building up the Pitts-
burgh of to-day they have laid the foundations of the city of the future.

Among those benefactors of mankind whose talents, in what-
McKELVY ever direction they may be exercised, are used for the

relief and uplifting of humanity, there is no larger class than
that formed by the votaries of the noble profession of medicine. The physi-
cians of Pittsburgh have ever stood in the front rank, noted as they have been
for close study, unwearied research and ceaseless activity, and those who
to-day maintain the ancient prestige of the profession are in all respects
the equals of their distinguished predecessors.

James McKelvy, great-grandfather of James P. McKelvy, was born in
county Down, Ireland, and in 1804 emigrated to the United States, settling
in Allegheny county, Pennsylvania. He eventually purchased a farm of one
hundred and sixty acres, then composed chiefly of woodland, but which
by his industry and perseverance was cleared and rendered productive. He
married in Ireland and his children were: James, mentioned below; Wil-
liam, late of Pittsburgh ; Hugh, also late of Pittsburgh, and an oil mer-
chant; John, a farmer; Elizabeth, wife of John Bowers, and now deecased;
Sarah, wife of Adam Walters ; and Mary A., wife of Daniel Armstrong.
The parents of these children spent the latter years of their lives on their
own farm. They were exemplary characters and members of the Protestant

James McKelvy, son of James and Elizabeth McKelvy, was born about
1800, in Ireland, and remained at home until his marriage, three years later
purchasing a farm which he brought to a high state of cultivation, becoming,
moreover, noted for the excellent quality of his stock. In 1839 the log cabin
which had hitherto been his dwelling was replaced by one of the best brick
houses to be found in the length and breadth of the county. Mr. McKelvy


was prominent in township affairs, and in politics was an old-line Whig and
later a Republican. He was a member of the Methodist Episcopal church,
and instrumental in the erection of its first structure in Wilkinsburg. He
married Rosanna, born on the Swisshelm homestead, near Swissvale Station,
daughter of John and Elizabeth (Wonderly) Swisshelm, the former a Revo-
lutionary veteran, of old Pennsylvania stock. Of the nine children of Mr.
and Mrs. McKelvy the following reached maturity: John S., mentioned
below; William H., a physician of Pittsburgh; Wilbur P., also of Pitts-
burgh ; Martha J., wife of Henry Wintersmith, of Louisville, Kentucky ;
James M., judge of Stearns county, Minnesota, and now deceased ; and
Elizabeth, who married John W. Hagen, and is now deceased. James Mc-
Kelvy, the fatlier, died in 1888. He was a man of strict integrity and was
held by his neighbors in the highest and most deserved esteem.

John S. McKelvy, son of James and Rosanna (Swisshelm) McKelvy,
was born April 22, 1841, on the homestead, and received his early education
in the public schools, afterward attending Wilkinsburg Academy and then
entering Allegheny College. He spends part of the year on the homestead,
but has a residence in Wilkinsburg, where he has erected several business
blocks. He is a Republican, and has held several local offices, serving many
years on the school board, and also in the borough council. He affiliates
with Braddock Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons, and is a member of the
Presbyterian Church, having been largely instrumental in building and sup-
porting the churches of the place in which he lives. Mr. McKelvy married,
September 16, 1863, Eleanor, born December 6, 1840, in Wilkinsburg, daugh-
ter of John and Mary (Davis) Horner, and the following children have been
born to them : Rose, wife of Marshall D. McWhinney, of Edgewood ; a
son who died in infancy ; James P., mentioned below ; Mary H., who married
Louis A. Raisig and is now deceased ; Elizabeth H., wife of Dr. W. A.
Sanderson, of Wilkinsburg; Eleanor G., wife of H. W. Mcintosh, of Wil-
kinsburg; and John Semple.

Dr. James P. McKelvy, son of John S. and Eleanor (Horner) Mc-
Kelvy, was born December i, 1869, on the ancestral farm, near Wilkinsburg,
Pennsylvania, and received his elementary education in the public schools
of that place, later attending for three years the Pittsburgh high schools,
after which he took up the study of chemistry and entered Columbia Univer-
sity. Having completed his course of study he entered the service of the
firm of Mcintosh & Hemphill, and for three years followed the profession
of a chemist. Both the tastes and talents of Mr. McKelvy strongly inclined
him to the profession of medicine, and he resolved after a time
to make this noble calling his life-work. Accordingly, he matricu-
lated in the Medical Department of Columbia University, and in
T901 received from that institution the degree of Doctor of Medicine. He
then spent two years in the Roosevelt Hospital, New York City, and in
1904 opened an office in Pittsburgh, where he has since built up a large and
lucrative practice, — the result of innate ability joined to patient, arduous, un-
remitting application and inflexible and unfaltering courage. He occupies
a prominent position in the medical fraternity and both it and the public


at large can testify that the enviable reputation which he has already gained
is justly merited.

As a citizen with exalted ideas of good government and civic virtue, Dr.
McKelvy stands in the front rank, and no plan having the promotion of these
ends in view fails to secure his hearty cooperation and support. Ever ready
to respond to any deserving call made upon him, the full number of his
benefactions will, in all probability, never be known to the world, for his
charity is of the kind that shuns publicity. The countenance of Dr. McKelvy
shows him to be a man of much force of character and strong individuality,
of noble impulses and a warm heart. His manner, dignified, courteous and
genial, attracts all who approach him and he has no small share of personal
magnetism. A man of cultivated tastes, he has always given his influence to
those interests which promote culture along lines of art and which work
for the Christianizing of the race and recognize the common brotherhood
of man. Of quick perceptions and sound judgment, and honorable in every
relation of life, he commands the respect and confidence of the entire com-
munity and has surrounded himself with a large circle of sincere and loyal

Dr. McKelvy married in December, 1894, Sarah, born at Bessemer,
Pennsylvania, daughter of Robert and Catherine McKinney, and they are
the parents of one son: William M., born May 10, 1896.

Dr. McKelvy is a man of strong domestic tastes and affections and
delights in the exercise of hospitality. The professional career of Dr. Mc-
Kelvy has thus far been a noteworthy one, but the greater portion of it is
yet to come. He is now but in early middle life, having not yet completed
his forty-fourth year. Moreover, he represents a type of man with whom
the age of accomplishment is never passed. The future attainments of such
a man it is impossible to predict with any degree of certainty, but the record
of Dr. McKelvy justifies a large measure of anticipation for the years ta

The greatness of Pittsburgh is the natural result of an unsur-
HUNT passed citizenship — a citizenship largely composed of men in

whom the initiative spirit is a strong and dominant element, and
who, in directing business affairs of mammoth proportions and importance,
contribute to the developmeA and upbuilding of the city. Prominent among
these "captains of industry" stands Azor R. Hunt, general superintendent
of the Homestead Steel Works of the Carnegie Steel Company. Mr. Hunt
has been, for a quarter of a century, actively associated with the leading
interests of the Pittsburgh district.

Azor R. Hunt was born August 22, 1848, in Mahoning, Ohio, a son
of Horace and Galatea (Ruggles) Hunt, whose ancestors migrated from
Connecticut to the Western Reserve. The boy was educated in the public
schools of his native place, and at the age of twenty went to Warren, Ohio,
where he apprenticed himself to the Warren Machine Company. Devoting
himself assiduously to the mastery of every detail of the business, he became


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so thoroughly familiar with it that he was appointed travelling salesman and
superintendent of construction, positions which, for several years, he filled
most creditably.

In 1887 Mr. Hunt was made night foreman of the structural department
of the Homestead Steel Works of the Carnegie Company, a position involv-
ing great responsibility, arduous labor and complete knowledge of the bus-
iness. The knowledge he possessed, his industry and ability, were eq^l to
the labor, and these combined enabled him to discharge the responsibilities
and led to his rapid and steady advancement. Within six months he became
assistant to the superintendent of construction at the thirty-two-inch mill,
and upon the completion of that mill was made a roller, in which capacity
he worked for three years. When Thomas Morrison was sent to Duquesne,
Mr. Hunt was made superintendent of the thirty-two-inch mill at Home-
stead, and in April, 1894, was advanced to the position of superintendent of
the plate department, comprising the one hundred and nineteen thirty-two-
inch mills, the forty-eight-inch universal, the one hundred and twenty-eight-
inch plate, the forty-two-inch universal and the thirty-inch slabbing mills.
His success secured for him the superintendency of the Duquesne Steel
Works, and when A. C. Dinkey was made president of the Carnegie Com-
pany, Mr. Hunt succeeded him at Homestead. This is one of the most im-
portant positions within the gift of the Carnegie Company, but Mr. Hunt pos-
sesses in large measure that intense energy whici. vitalizes all with which
it comes in contact, and this, united with rare business ability, has enabled
him to discharge with the utmost efficiency the duties of his commanding
office. He is a director of the Carnegie Steel Company, of the First National
Bank of Homestead, and a director and vice-president of the Monongahela

Online LibraryJohn W. (John Woolf) JordanGenealogical and personal history of western Pennsylvania; (Volume 1) → online text (page 13 of 69)